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School Life: Kitchen and Garden

Coast offers a dynamic Kitchen Garden Program where the importance of Earth Stewardship is taught connecting soil life and nutrition to our health and well-being.

Our organic school garden, Natures Neighbourhood, which began in 2008, is the main hub of cross curricula lessons beginning from early Stage 1 through to Stage 3. Connecting the garden with the kitchen is vital in building resilience and understanding the environmental impacts our consumer choices have on the world around us. Discussing those impacts creatively and considering best practice drives a sustainable approach to teaching the kitchen garden program.

Natures Neighbourhood supports an organic closed loop system where our outputs are also the inputs with creative waste management. Composting, worm farming and raising chickens are integral to building nutrient dense soils and food that are then harvested and used to cook cuisines from many cultures. Environmental initiatives that drive responsible waste production become second nature as daily activities impress the need to care and support all forms of life, from the building blocks of our soil, to the insects and animals in our garden, to the family we share our food with.

The school kitchen provides an enjoyable atmosphere of food preparation and sharing. Clean up and wash up complete every kitchen session as part of a normal routine. The children learn valuable life skills from safe handling of knives in the kitchen to using tools in the garden, from responsible water management to resourceful construction of structures, artworks and propagation just to name a few.

Growing and harvesting with the children for our kitchen sessions and the school canteen are ongoing activities which are supported by organic pest management techniques. This supported environment for predator insects and other life ensures the children are introduced to natural processes that protect and encourage species in our garden ecosystem and local surrounds. Parents and relatives are encouraged to volunteer and participate in small group activities and are a valued addition to the supported teaching in our Kitchen Garden Program.

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